John Warner Treated For Abnormal Heartbeat

By Anita Kumar and Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, October 4, 2007

U.S. Sen. John W. Warner successfully underwent a nonsurgical procedure yesterday at Inova Fairfax Hospital to correct an abnormal heartbeat.

Warner, 80, was admitted to the hospital Tuesday and is expected to return home this weekend.

"Sen. Warner called his office this morning around 11:30 a.m. to say he is doing very well,'' said a statement released by his office yesterday afternoon. "He advised his staff that he passed this morning's procedure 'with flying colors.' "

Warner (R-Va.) went to work Tuesday but checked in with the Capitol physician's office midmorning. He left for the hospital that afternoon for a procedure to correct atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat.

Doctors performed a second procedure yesterday to maintain proper heart rhythm and rate. His heart rhythm and rate were normal, according to the release.

Warner expects to return to the Senate next week.

"This is very straightforward,'' said Warner's chief of staff, Carter Cornick. "We have a very common situation and . . . it's been successfully addressed."

Just a month ago, Warner announced on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville that he will not seek a sixth term.

That announcement triggered a round of jockeying that could change the political landscape in Virginia and nationally.

Former governor Mark R. Warner (D) has said he will seek the seat. Two Republicans, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Fairfax) and former governor James S. Gilmore III, are considering a bid as well.

If health problems prompt Warner to leave office before 2009, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) would appoint a replacement.

"There would be no reason whatsoever that this situation would change in any way his commitment to the commonwealth and to his responsibilities in the Senate," Cornick said. "This is something that has been attended to properly, and he is absolutely as strong and as confident as he was yesterday and the day before."

Kumar reported from Richmond.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company